"It seems like everyone is using video monitors these days, but they're kind of expensive. Do I really need one? Are there any benefits besides just being able to see my baby?"
Many parents feel that video monitors are an expensive and ultimately unnecessary luxury, and they are right. You do not need a video monitor. There is nothing wrong with saving yourself a hundred dollars and buying a perfectly adequate audio monitor. Your baby will be perfectly safe.
That being said, you might want one. For those who can swallow the added expense, the benefits of one-click-baby-surveillance may outweigh the cost.
Still doing the math? Consider the following advantages.
The obvious benefit of a video monitor is the ability to see your baby. One click provides anxious mothers with a peace of mind that normally only comes with actually laying eyes on their sweet little dreamer. For many, that peace of mind alone is a luxury worth paying for.
Of course, you can always check in on your baby in person, but a video monitor will save you a lot of legwork, especially in those early months where every unfamiliar sound from baby’s crib feels like cause for concern. A quick check of the monitor offers all the reassurance of a sneak peek without the risk of startling your little one, and all from the comfort of your own well-deserved bed.
Video monitors also promote sleep safety by allowing for more frequent check-ins, especially during daytime naps - that brief, yet productive, respite during which parents may hesitate to step inside the nursery for fear of waking baby sooner than expected.
By simply checking the monitor periodically, parents can ensure their child is sleeping comfortably and identify any potential safety hazards, such as loose swaddling or trapped limbs - problems that they may not have otherwise been alerted to if baby continued to sleep quietly.
Toddlers are born manipulators. This term may have a somewhat negative connotation, but like it or not, its meaning applies. They want your attention, and they know how to get it - cue the pouty face and the big, fat crocodile tears. More often than not, your little one is just fine. They just want to be with you. Of course, it’s very difficult to assure yourself of this when your audio monitor sounds like a wailing siren. What if something is actually wrong?
This is the moment you will really wish you had a video monitor.
No matter what method you choose, sleep coaching is a difficult process. While the cry it out method may not be for everyone, it can be a very effective - if somewhat painful - way to teach your child to go to bed. A video monitor can be tremendously helpful, allowing parents to make confident judgments as to whether or not their child is actually in need of their attention while ensuring baby's safety at all times.
Monitoring Older Children
While introducing your child to their very first big kid bed can be fun, keeping them in it may prove anything but amusing. While some children adapt well, others will take the opportunity to quietly catch up on some quality playtime in their room, or even swing by yours to say hello. A video monitor can be a big help during this transition period; especially if your little one has suddenly discovered that they have far more interesting things to do than sleep.
Typically, children have all the fun of sneaking out of bed undetected and creeping all the way down the hall before getting caught and accompanied back to bed - a great game by any three-year-old’s standards. But with the help of a video monitor, BAM! They’re yours the second they step out of bed - decreasing the fun factor considerably. (See kids? Mama really does know all). Chances are, they’ll give up the game sooner rather than later.
(Photo Courtesy of Ella Novak.)